Core Academics

Core Academics | Global Languages | Electives | Graduation Requirements

Full-time AESA Prep International students are required to earn one credit each year in the following core subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. We have designed the curriculum of all of our core courses to help prepare students for the two principle college entrance exams, the SAT, developed by the College Board, and the ACT, developed by ACT Inc.

Alignment with National Standards

 

Mathematics: Our mathematics curriculum satisfies the National Principles and Standards for Mathematics, developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Science: Our science curriculum satisfies the Next Generation Science Standards, developed by the National Science Teachers Association.

English: Our english curriculum satisfies the Standards for the English Language Arts, developed by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Social Studies: Our social studies curriculum satisfies the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, developed by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Grade 9 Core Courses

 

Algebra 1:  This one-year college preparatory course will help students to view algebra not only as a theoretical tool for analyzing and describing mathematical relationships, but they will also experience the power of algebraic thinking in a context of applications by studying the mathematical modeling of real world problems.

In the first semester of Algebra I, students are introduced to functions, using tables and graphs, multiple representations of functions, exploring linear functions, rate of change, the parent function, writing rules, connecting functions to equations and inequalities, using commutative, associative, and distributive properties to simplify expressions, solving simple equations with manipulatives and symbols, solving equations of the Form kx + c = b and kx + c = mx + b, looking closer at inequalities and comparing notations and methods.

The second semester of Algebra I introduces students to systems of linear equation, solving systems using graphs and tables, solving systems by symbolic methods, area and perimeter functions, the parent function multiplied by a constant, adding and subtracting a constant, multiple changes to the parent function, binomial operations, modeling with quadratic functions, solving quadratic equations, graphs of exponential functions, and modeling inverse variation data.

Algebra 1 is designed for 9th grade students but occasionally 7th and 8th grade students are prepared for this level of math course.

 

Biology:  This course is equivalent to a college-level introductory biology course. Biology is the scientific study of living organisms and is considered to be the first science course in high school. This course teaches traditional biological concepts as students consider the interactions among the vast number of organisms that inhabit our planet.

Topics taught in class are the following: bio-molecules, enzymes, prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells, cellular organelles, plasma membrane and membrane transport, osmosis, diffusion, mitosis, DNA replication, protein synthesis, mutations, energy and ATP, leaf structure and leaf pigments, stages of photosynthesis, transport of materials in plants, cellular respiration, community ecology, biological communities, population dynamics, asexual and sexual reproduction, meiosis, plant reproduction, human reproduction, menstrual cycle, genetics, karyotypes, ethics of genetics, careers in biotechnology, sex-linked traits, genetic screening, evolution, diversity of life, natural selection, plant adaptations, human body systems, the immune system, and identifying diseases.

 

English I:  This course is an introductory survey of literature, with an emphasis on reading, writing, and analytical skills. Students utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret reading selections from specific time periods, diverse cultures and various genres of literature including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Vocabulary skills are strengthened through weekly tests in preparation for the SAT and ACT. Students will demonstrate proficiency of the writing process through narrative, persuasive, and expository writing with an introduction to research writing. Grammar and punctuation skills will be developed as well.

 

World Geography:  This course examines environmental factors such as climate, topography and natural resources throughout the world. It also explores population distribution and growth and their effect on the world’s population. The study of varied customs and cultural characteristics of world societies, as well as productivity and consumption of natural resources on a global scale are also main aspects of this class. Regions covered are the United States, Canada, Middle, Central, and South America, Caribbean Islands, Caribbean South America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

 

Grade 10 Core Courses

 

Geometry:  This is a one-year college preparatory Geometry course for the accelerated mathematics student. The course content will include a rigorous in-depth study of geometric concepts from an algebraic perspective. Included in this course is a study of both two and three dimensional shapes, congruence, similarity, transformations and the relationships between geometric shapes.

The first semester of Geometry introduces students to points, lines and planes, segments and distances, angles and angle measures, patterns, perpendicular bisectors and angle bisectors, points of concurrency in triangles, conditional statements, geometric systems, isometrics, parallel lines, slopes of lines, composite transfer, triangle properties, isosceles and equilateral triangles, proving triangles congruent, and constructing perpendiculars and parallels. The second semester of Geometry covers similar polygons, right triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, special right triangles, right triangle trigonometry, properties of quadrilaterals, properties of parallelograms, proving quadrilaterals and parallelograms, properties of special parallelograms, trapezoids and kites, circles in the coordinate plane, properties of tangents, areas of plane figures, circles: circumference and arc length, circles, areas, sectors and segments, representing 3-D figures, prisms and cylinders in the real world, pyramids and cones in the real world, sphere and plane sections, surface area of cylinders and prisms, surface area of pyramids and cones, volumes of cylinders, prisms, pyramids and cones, coordinates and dimensional change, and three-dimensional coordinates.

Pre-Requisite: Satisfactory completion of Algebra 1.

 

Chemistry:  Chemistry covers topics and information normally contained in a first-year college general chemistry course. Chemistry is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes.

This course examines Chemistry by introducing students to the following aspects: chemical reactions, the scientific method, characteristics of matter and its states, chromatography, physical and chemical changes, the law of conservation of mass, measurements in chemistry, accuracy, precision, significant digits, atomic theory, models of atoms, electron configurations, orbital notation, atomic mass, periodic table and its trends, nuclear chemistry, fission , fusion, half-lifes of radioactive elements, nuclear reactors, oxidation numbers, polyvalent metals, polyatomic ions, chemical formulas, chemical names, naming binary molecular compounds, naming acids, organic compounds, molar mass, mole calculations, percent composition, empirical and molecular formulas, valence electrons, electronegativity, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, chemical reactions, Stoichiometry, limiting reagents, percent yield, aqueous systems, reaction rates and equilibrium, and chemical applications in the real world.

Pre-Requisites: Biology

 

English II:  This course is a survey of American literature, spanning the early 1600’s through contemporary literature.  Students will encounter writing from the Native American period and the Colonial Period through contemporary literature. This course emphasizes reading, writing, and analytical skills.  Students utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret reading selections from specific time periods, diverse cultures and various genres of American literature including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Vocabulary skills in preparation for the SAT and ACT are emphasized and tested regularly. In a weekly “Writer’s Workshop”, students will demonstrate proficiency of the writing process through narrative,  persuasive, and expository writing.  Students will learn to research and write a research paper in MLA format.  Grammar and punctuation skills will be developed as well.

Pre-Requisites: English I

 

World History:  Students will examine some of the most important empires that have risen and fallen throughout humanity’s existence. They will explore key events and innovations that have changed the course of human history and helped shape who we are today. They will also be introduced to the interesting, and sometimes dangerous, characters that have left their mark on our world. This course will require students to use analytical skills to draw parallels between the past and the present and to look critically at the lives and civilizations that have preceded us.

Pre-Requisites: World Geography

 

Grade 11 Core Courses

 

Algebra 2:  This is a one-year college preparatory course that will help students view algebra not only as a theoretical tool for analyzing and describing mathematical relationships, they will also experience the power of algebraic thinking in the context of application by studying the mathematical modeling of real world problems.

Algebra 2 is usually the third math course that is taken in High School and builds upon the information and skills students have acquired in Algebra 1. This course will focus on the concepts of functions and relations with emphasis on linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, radical, and rational functions.

Algebraic concepts are used in a variety of real-world situations than can be modeled mathematically. The students will learn about rational functions and their properties, investigate the effects of horizontal and vertical translations, solve rational equations and inequalities by graphing and by solving algebraically, compare direct and indirect relations, define the General Exponential Function using Carbon-14 dating, population and other models, discover the number e, use continuous compound interest, use logarithmic functions as the inverse of an exponential function with common and natural logarithmic functions, learn how to use the properties of logarithm and using properties of logarithms in applications, and define conics such as parabolas, ellipses, circles and hyperbolas using the General and Standard Forms of the Equations of a Conic.

Pre-Requisites: Algebra 1 and Geometry

 

Physics:  This mathematically rigorous course is equivalent to an introductory college-level physics course.

Physics is the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It produces a systematic understanding of the fundamental laws that govern physical, chemical and biological processes.

Some of the topics students study are the following: kinetic energy and its relationship to heat, convection, conduction, and radiation; the first law of thermodynamics; the second law of thermodynamics; the third law of thermodynamics; the harmonic motion and waves; reflection, interference, standing waves, sound reasoning, characterizing sound, resonance and forced vibration; the Doppler effect; the behavior of light, the scattering of light, and bending light; elements of quantum physics; spectrographs; medical and industrial applications of light, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, current, voltage, resistance, series and parallel circuits; electromagnetic induction; electric motors; electric generator; quantum optics; the photon; photoelectric effect; atomic models; dualism of matter; review of scientific techniques; scientific processes and measurement; models and graphs; position; speed; velocity; acceleration, motion, projectile motion, and uniform circular motion; Newton’s Laws, gravity as a force, force as a vector quantity, centripetal force, momentum, impulse and impact, kinetic energy, and gravitational potential energy; Hooke’s Law; elastic potential energy; the work-energy theorem; and conservation of energy and momentum.

Pre-Requisites: Biology, Chemistry, and Algebra 1

 

English III:  This course is a survey of American literature, spanning the early 1600’s through contemporary literature. Students will encounter writing from the Native American period and the Colonial Period through contemporary literature. This course emphasizes reading, writing, and analytical skills.  Students utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret reading selections from specific time periods, diverse cultures and various genres of American literature including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Vocabulary skills in preparation for the SAT and ACT are emphasized and tested regularly. Students will demonstrate proficiency of the writing process through narrative,  persuasive, and expository writing.  Students will learn to research and write a research paper in MLA format. Grammar and punctuation skills will be developed as well.

Pre-Requisites: English I and English II

 

U.S. History:  The purpose of this course is to increase students’ knowledge of the development of the United States as a democratic nation. Emphasis will be placed on major events, geography, individuals and ideas which comprise the American heritage.

Pre-Requisites: World Geography and World History

 

Grade 12 Core Courses

 

Pre-Calculus:  Pre-Calculus is designed to prepare college-bound students for a first course in Calculus. It combines the topics of trigonometry, elementary analysis, and analytic geometry. Pre-Calculus builds on the concepts and skills learned in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. An intuitive base and some working tools for the study of more advanced mathematics are developed.

The students will use system of inequalities to solve linear and quadratic inequalities, solve polynomials and rational inequalities, use rational, exponential, and logarithmic function to prove properties of logarithms and to solve exponential growth and decay, graph polar equations in the form of complex numbers using products, quotients, powers and roots of complex numbers, use conics to solve equations on circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, and parabolas, solve problems using the basic operations of matrices and vectors, use sequence and series to identify arithmetic and geometric series, use limits of sequence, sums of infinite series and power series, and introduce students to Calculus using limits of a function of a real variable and limit theorems and find derivatives.

Pre-Requisites: Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2

 

Environmental Science:  This course is designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the many ecosystems that inhabit the earth, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. There are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental systems. Students are introduced to complex environmental issues that include environmental quality, plant systems, human resources, conservation, pollution, and ecosystems. This involves the study of biology, chemistry, and demography that deals with the interaction between man and nature.

Pre-Requisites: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

 

English IV:  This course is a survey of British literature from the Renaissance period through Romanticism and Modernism. This course emphasizes reading, writing, and analytical skills. Students utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret reading selections from specific time periods, diverse cultures and various genres of British literature including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Vocabulary skills in preparation for the SAT and ACT are emphasized and tested regularly. Students will demonstrate proficiency of the writing process through narrative, persuasive, and expository writing. Students will learn to research and write a research paper in MLA format. Grammar and punctuation skills will be developed as well.

Pre-Requisites: English I, English II, and English III

 

Economics:  This course will introduce you to the study of Economics, which covers how individuals and societies satisfy their unlimited wants with limited resources. The course begins with a discussion about the basic economic problem of scarcity. Next we examine market behavior through the study of the two major forces behind them such as supply and demand.The next unit covers basic microeconomics concepts, or the science behind individual stakeholders’ decision making processes. Then we go into the behavior of aggregate economic units such as countries and societies through the study of macroeconomics concepts. And our last two units feature the Role of Government & the Global Economy; and Economic Development and Personal Finance. Another way to consider what we’re studying — simply put — is that economics is about making the right decisions with the resources available on an individual, societal and global level.

Pre-Requisites: World Geography, World History, and U.S. History

NOTE: Grade 12 social studies requires one semester of Economics and one semester of U.S. Government.

 

U.S. Government:  U.S. Government will focus on the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute United States politics. Students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States both by studying the general concepts used to interpret U. S. politics and by analyzing specific examples. Students will learn how to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to U. S. government and politics and will write extensively to perfect their essay writing and critical thinking skills.

In this course, students apply knowledge gained in previous years of study to pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American Government. In addition, they draw on their studies of world and American history and geography and other societies to compare differences and similarities in world governmental systems today.

This course is the culmination of history/social sciences classes to prepare students to solve society’s problems, to understand and to participate in the governmental process, and to be a responsible citizen of the United States and the world.

Pre-Requisites: Word Geography, World History, and U.S. History

NOTE: Grade 12 social studies requires one semester of Economics and one semester of U.S. Government.